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Is it a good idea to start a new business with your friends?

On Behalf of | Sep 6, 2023 | Business Litigation

From the glittering tech hubs of Silicon Valley to the bustling streets of Los Angeles, the Golden State seems to shimmer with promise for budding entrepreneurs. If you are contemplating starting a business in California, you might want to bring your friends on board. After all, who better to share the trials and tribulations of a new venture than with those you trust and care for?

However, like any decision, there are both advantages and disadvantages to consider when mixing friendship and business.

The upside of partnering with friends

The immediate benefits are apparent. You already have an established rapport and trust with your friends. This foundation can be invaluable when making tough business decisions, as you have a shared history and understanding of each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Moreover, starting a business is an arduous journey, and having friends by your side can make the process more enjoyable and less lonely. With your friends, you have a built-in support system to celebrate the wins and overcome the setbacks.

Furthermore, friends can often be more forgiving than other business partners. If you make a mistake or need more time to deliver on a promise, a friend might be more understanding than an unfamiliar business associate.

The challenges of mixing friendship and business

Starting a business with friends can blur the lines between professional and personal relationships. Disagreements about the direction of the business, financial decisions or workloads can spill over into your personal lives, causing strain or even jeopardizing the friendship.

Fairness between friends can be challenging; for example, if you decide to split your profits 50/50 but one partner works double the hours of the other, it is a recipe for resentment.

Starting a new California business with your friends can be a rewarding experience. To make it work, you need to ensure open communication, clear roles and a mutual understanding that the business’s interests come first. With the right balance, you can reap the benefits of a partnership that thrives in the boardroom and beyond.